Crisis Management Initiative
|Formation||24 August 2000|
|Founded at||Helsinki, Finland|
|Headquarters||Eteläranta 12, Helsinki|
|7,3 million €|
Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) is an independent Finnish non-governmental organisation that works to prevent and resolve conflict through informal dialogue and mediation. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari founded CMI in 2000. CMI has offices in Helsinki and Brussels as well as a presence in selected countries. The organisation is officially registered as Crisis Management Initiative ry.
CMI states it is focused on contributing to peace processes in three regions: the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia and Sub-Saharan Africa. CMI states that it facilitates dialogue, mediates between conflicting sides, provides capacity-building and mediation support at all stages of conflict management and peace processes, and supports the broader peace building community. CMI is often approached in conflicts related to which it has regional expertise and contacts. The choice of mediation also depends on the political will of its financial backers to solve a particular conflict. CMI works either directly with the parties of the conflict, or assists another organization like the United Nations or the African Union in their mediating efforts. CMI conducts its mediating work behind the scenes and does not comment on ongoing negotiations. Sometimes even successful negotiations are kept secret.
CMI head offices are in Helsinki. The organization employs 80 persons. As of 2018[update], the annual budget of CMI was 7,3 million euros. It receives most of its funding, 55%, from the Finnish state. The European Union and other European countries are significant funders as well. In 2017, it campaigned to raise more than 600,000 euros from about 9,000 private donors as a surprise birthday "present" to Ahtisaari to fund more than 15 extra rounds of mediation talks.
Nobel Peace laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari founded CMI on 24 August 2000, the same year he became Chairman of the International Crisis Group. After stepping down as the President of Finland that year, Ahtisaari declined the post of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees because he wanted to focus instead on addressing the root causes of conflicts. President Ahtisaari's long-term vision with CMI was to contribute to as much as effectively as possible to solving violent conflict throughout the world. The main tasks of the organisation in its early years were to assist Martti Ahtisaari in his numerous international assignments, to participate in policy discussions, and to advocate capacity-building in civilian crisis management.
This led to CMI taking its own projects, at first concerning crisis management and later on expanding to peace building and conflict resolution projects. One of CMI's most visible assignments, the Aceh peace process began in late 2004. CMI and its chairman president Ahtisaari were asked to facilitate talks between the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).
In 2008, President Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts". In its announcement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee also recognized Ahtisaari and CMI's central role in the Aceh process as well as their work in mediating peace in Iraq in 2008.
In 2017, CMI mediated between the government and opposition parties of the Burundian unrest. CMI also facilitated negotiations between Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian groups. Because Hamas is classified as a terrorist group by many countries, CMI has been criticized for including them in talks. Because of the number of parties involved, it is difficult to assess the individual impact of CMI.
In 2019, CMI removed all references to its employee and recently elected Member of Parliament of Finland, Hussein al-Taee, following his comparison of the Israel to the Islamic State and representatives of the Simon Wiesenthal Center saying al-Taee's writings were "clearly antisemitic."
- European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats
- Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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